Democrat President Joe Biden is reportedly “under investigation” by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), also known as “the investigative arm of Congress,” for halting billions of dollars in payments to be spent on former-President Trump’s border wall.
“On his first day in office, Biden hit pause on billions of dollars set to be spent on his predecessor’s long-touted barrier between the U.S. and Mexico while his administration figured out next steps for the money,” Politico reported. “Now the Government Accountability Office is launching a review to determine whether the new president broke the law by freezing the money in violation of budget rules designed to keep Congress in control of the cash flow, the federal watchdog confirmed this week.”
Last week, a letter sent to the GAO from forty Senate Republicans claimed that Biden’s actions were “a blatant violation of federal law” and Biden’s suspension of border wall construction and “infringe on Congress’s constitutional power of the purse.”
“The President’s actions directly contributed to this unfortunate, yet entirely avoidable, scenario,” the letter said, referring to the record levels of illegal immigration that has overwhelmed the southern border. “They are also a blatant violation of federal law and infringe on Congress’s constitutional power of the purse. We write regarding these actions. We believe they violated the Impoundment Control Act (ICA), as interpreted by your office, and we request your legal opinion on the matter. Prompt action to end these violations is required to restore order at the border.”
The letter points out that in Department of Homeland Security appropriation bills for fiscal year 2020 and 2021 “Congress provided nearly three billion dollars ‘for the construction of a barrier system along the southwest border.’”
The news comes as levels of illegal immigration exceed six times “the crisis level,” as defined by the Obama administration, and the number of child migrants being held in the custody of the U.S. government reaching nearly double the previous record.
Instead of investing in border security, the Biden administration has been handling its self-created border crisis by choosing to release illegal immigrants into the interior of the United States without setting a court date, incentivizing further illegal immigration and ostensibly fulfilling Biden’s promise to migrants that the United States would be a “safe haven” for them.
Mayorkas, DHS Further Diminish ICE Powers by Limiting Worksite Raids; Blame ‘Exploitative Employers’
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has just taken even more responsibility off illegal immigrants and placed it on the shoulders of employers and ICE instead. In a memo to acting ICE Director Tae Johnson, “Mayorkas argued that enforcement operations could be more effective when directed at employers of illegal immigrants, instead of immigrants themselves” reports National Review.
“The deployment of mass worksite operations, sometimes resulting in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers, was not focused on the most pernicious aspect of our country’s unauthorized employment challenge: exploitative employers. These highly visible operations misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a tool of retaliation for, worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations.”
A Department of Homeland Security press release was almost identical:
“Under the [Trump] administration, these resource-intensive operations resulted in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers and were used as a tool by exploitative employers to suppress and retaliate against workers’ assertion of labor laws.”
Mayorkas has been making moves in this new direction for months. National Review writes:
Mayorkas previously directed Immigration, Customs and Enforcement to prioritize undocumented immigrants who are deemed to pose a threat to public safety for deportation, as opposed to migrants who are deemed “contributing” members of society.
“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” Mayorkas wrote in new enforcement guidelines on September 30. “We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way.”
Border Patrol agents encountered 212,672 migrants at the border in July, the first time in 21 years that monthly encounters breached 200,000. In August Border Patrol agents logged 208,887 migrant encounters, with over a million people entering the U.S. illegally since the start of this year.
DHS Announces New Rules To Cut Back On Deportations
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered authorities to prioritize deporting illegal immigrants who “pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security” because the government does not have enough resources to handle the record-breaking illegal immigration that has occurred under President Biden’s administration.
“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen, therefore, should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wrote in a memo. “We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”
The memo further outlines “mitigating factors” that would prevent the deportation of an illegal immigrant who had committed a crime. Among the factors listed are: “advanced or tender age; lengthy presence in the United States; a mental condition that may have contributed to the criminal conduct, or a physical or mental condition requiring care or treatment.”
The New York Post reported, “The guidance, which is due to take effect Nov. 29, replaces interim rules issued in February that were initially blocked by a federal judge in August as part of a lawsuit brought by Texas and Louisiana. The judge ruled that the administration did not have discretion to choose which migrants to detain, but a federal appeals court allowed the guidelines to take effect while the lawsuit proceeds.”
The February rules are suspected to be a large factor in the surge in illegal immigration seen this year as migrants knew that their likelihood of being able to remain in the United States was much greater. The February Memorandum led to record low deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while there was simultaneously record high illegal immigration.
The Washington Post reported in May, “Under new Biden administration rules curtailing immigration enforcement, ICE carried out fewer than 3,000 deportations last month, the lowest level on record. The agency’s 6,000 officers currently average one arrest every two months.”
“ICE under President Biden is an agency on probation,” the Washington Post continued. “The new administration has rejected calls from some Democrats to eliminate the agency entirely, but Biden has placed ICE deportation officers on a leash so tight that some say their work is being functionally abolished.”
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